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Nevada Medical Marijuana Dispensary Clears Final Committee, Advances to Vote by Full Senate

May 29th

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CARSON CITY, NV – Hoping to clear up some of the legal ambiguity surrounding Nevada’s medical marijuana law, a bill that would expand the state’s existing medical marijuana program to allow for the licensing of non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries has passed a final committee hearing and has advanced to a third reading and vote by the full Senate.

The bill, Senate Bill 374, was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April, and received a favorable “do pass” recommendation from the  Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday.

The Finance Committee added a key amendment to the bill that will allow the Department of Health and Human Services to receive temporary funding from the State General Fund to pay for the initial costs of implementing the dispensary program until revenue from registration fees are collected and the program becomes self sufficient.

Some state senators have expressed that while they do not endorse the use of medical marijuana, which was approved by Nevada voters in 2000, they are supporting the bill because it is their responsibility as lawmakers to ensure that the will of the voters and the int. . . . . READ MORE

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Michigan Medical Marijuana Patients & Caregivers Surrender to Feds

May 28th

Stop Arresting medical marijuana patients

DETROIT, MI — Several Michigan medical marijuana patients and caregivers are expected to surrender to federal authorities this week to serve out lengthy prison terms, after being convicted in federal court without any opportunity to defend themselves on medical necessity or state law grounds.

Some defendants went to trial while others pleaded guilty when they saw no opportunity to defend their actions under state law.

Among those expected to surrender this week is 53-year-old Michigan medical marijuana patient Jerry Duval, a kidney-pancreas transplant patient with coronary artery disease and a strict medication regimen.

Duval was sentenced earlier this year to 10 years in prison and will be surrendering to FMC Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts on June 11th.  Duval will file a Compassionate Release Request this week, urging the the Bureau of Prisons to consider his extraordinary and compelling circumstances.

Three other Michigan cultivators, Dennis Fo. . . . . READ MORE

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University of Michigan Researchers Begin $2.2M Medical Marijuana Pain Research Study

May 27th

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ANN ARBOR, MI — Across the country, patients use marijuana in hopes that it will ease the symptoms of conditions such as cancer, seizures, glaucoma and pain. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have made this use legal – including Michigan, where more than 135,000 patients are now in a four-year-old statewide registry of approved medical marijuana users.

But this wave of legalization has occurred without much independent research to support the drug’s use for these conditions – which has helped fuel the ongoing debate about such laws. And marijuana remains illegal on a federal level.

Now, with a new $2.2 million, four-year federal research grant, a team of University of Michigan Medical School researchers will try to document medical marijuana’s potential impact in a more scientific way, in one of the states that has authorized its use.

The funding, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will pay for a two-year study of 800 Michigan patients who are seeking to obtain state certification for the use of medical marijuana for pain.

The team will approach patients who are at their first doctor’s appointment as part of the process to obtain the certification that’s needed to become a registered medical . . . . . READ MORE

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New Hampshire Senate Votes to Approve Statewide Medical Marijuana Law

May 23rd

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CONCORD, NH — The New Hampshire Senate voted 18-6 today to approve HB 573, bringing the state closer to passing the country’s next medical marijuana law.

The New Hampshire House overwhelmingly approved a similar version of the bill in March by a 286-64 vote, making this the third time in four years that the legislature has passed a medical marijuana law.

The previous two bills were vetoed by then-Governor John Lynch, but HB 573 is expected to be signed by Governor Maggie Hassan after the bill is finalized in a House/Senate conference committee.

Earlier this month, under threat of veto by Governor Hassan, the Senate Committee on Health, Education & Human Services amended the legislation.

In particular, the governor objected to a provision in the House bill allowing qualified patients to cultivate 3 plants for themselves under strict conditions.<. . . . . READ MORE

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New Hampshire Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

May 23rd

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NASHUA, NH — The New Hampshire Senate voted 18-6 Thursday to approve a bill that will make New Hampshire the final state in New England to authorize the medical use of marijuana.

The bill is a Senate-amended version of House Bill 573, which a veto-proof majority of the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 286-64 in favor of  in March.

The bill now goes back to the House, which can agree to the changes made by the Senate, or ask to negotiate a compromise, before the bill can be sent to the desk of Gov. Maggie Hassan.

In the version passed by the Senate, two key elements were removed from the House-approved bill.  Under the Senate-amended bill, patients will now longer be allowed to grow their own medical marijuana, and PTSD was removed from the list of qualifying conditions.

Qualifying medical conditions, according to the Senate amendment, include: severely debilitating or terminal medical conditions, cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C currently receiving antiviral treatment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, musc. . . . . READ MORE

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New Hampshire Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

May 23rd

medical marijuana bags

NASHUA, NH — The New Hampshire Senate voted 18-6 Thursday to approve a bill that will make New Hampshire the final state in New England to authorize the medical use of marijuana.

The bill is a Senate-amended version of House Bill 573, which a veto-proof majority of the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 286-64 in favor of  in March.

The bill now goes back to the House, which can agree to the changes made by the Senate, or ask to negotiate a compromise, before the bill can be sent to the desk of Gov. Maggie Hassan.

In the version passed by the Senate, two key elements were removed from the House-approved bill.  Under the Senate-amended bill, patients will now longer be allowed to grow their own medical marijuana, and PTSD was removed from the list of qualifying conditions.

Qualifying medical conditions, according to the Senate amendment, include: severely debilitating or terminal medical conditions, cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C currently receiving antiviral treatment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, musc. . . . . READ MORE

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Los Angeles Citizens Vote to Regulate Medical Marijuana

May 23rd

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LOS ANGELES, CA – The citizens of Los Angeles voted to regulate medical marijuana by voting to pass Proposition D Tuesday, one of three medical marijuana regulation measures on the ballot.

Proposition D, which received 62.57% of the vote, caps the number of collectives at those who opened prior to 2007, about 130, raises the gross receipts tax from $50 to $60 per $1000 of gross receipts, and establishes the distances they must keep from schools, parks, one another and residential neighborhoods.

It also requires that collectives be closed between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m., prohibits the consumption of marijuana on the premises and requires background checks on managers.

The Proposition also does not allow for a new collective to receive a permit if one of the pre-2007 collectives closes.

Proposition D was also supported by several members of the City Council, the Greater Los Angeles Collective Association (GLACA), the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), both Los Angeles mayoral candidates and the current city attorney and his challenger.

Under the Proposition, organizations consisting of four or more people who cultivate, process, distribute or give away medical marijuana . . . . . READ MORE

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San Diego Mayor Urges Jury Nullification in Marijuana Cases: “Ignore Federal Law”

May 23rd

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner

SAN DIEGO, CA — The Mayor of San Diego is encouraging jurors of an upcoming medical marijuana case to reject the prosecution’s argument, which rests on the fact that marijuana is banned at the federal level.

The feds arrested Ronnie Chang of San Marcos in 2009 for operating a medical marijuana dispensary. He is just one of the many Californians who have faced legal consequences for their state-sanctioned efforts to bring relief to patients.

Mayor Bob Filner is outraged at Chang’s situation. “Someone should not be going through this stage of prosecution for trying to help people to have access to medical marijuana,” he told reporters.

A champion for civil rights and a former Freedom Rider, Mayor Filner wants jurors to send a message to the federal government this fall, when Chang’s trial is expected to begin.

“[I]t’s time, like with Prohibition, to step back and say this was a stupid thing to do…and juries ought to take the lead in saying that to the federal government.”

In a process known as “jury . . . . . READ MORE

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Michigan Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Medical Marijuana Patient in DUI Case

May 23rd

sobriety test

LANSING, MI — A Michigan traffic safety law that prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle by persons who possess any presence of THC in their blood, regardless of whether or not they are behaviorally impaired by the substance, may not be strictly applied to state-qualified medical cannabis patients. So decided the Michigan Supreme Court on Tuesday in the case People v Koon.

In a unanimous opinion, the Court determined that legal protections extended to state-qualified patients under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, enacted by voters in 2008, supersede the state’s zero tolerance, internal possession law. As a result, the Court determined that state prosecutors must establish that authorized patients charged under the statute are actually impaired by their cannabis use in order to gain a DUI criminal conviction.

According to the syllabus of the Opinion:

“The MMMA [Michigan Medical Marihuana Act] does not define what it means to be ‘under. . . . . READ MORE

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Study Substantiates Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Post Traumatic Stress

May 22nd

Medical marijuana could help veterans, and others who suffer from PTSD.

Medical marijuana could help veterans, and others who suffer from PTSD.

NEW YORK, NY — Brain imaging research published this month in the journal Molecular Psychiatry provides physiological evidence as to why cannabis may mitigate certain symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that is estimated to impact some eight million Americans annually. Yet, to date, there are no pharmaceutical treatments specifically designed or approved to target symptoms of PTSD.

Investigators at the New York University School of Medicine and the New York University Langone Medical Center, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center for the Study of Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury reported that subjects diagnosed with PTSD . . . . . READ MORE

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